Mohali, August 22: A joint team of the Mohali police and the district health authorities on Tuesday seized 2,060 kg of spurious cheese along with 3,375 kg of skimmed milk powder, 89 kg of butter, 10 kg of cream and 360 litres of a chemical, said to be sulphuric acid, from an illegal factory at Ballo Majra village near the VR Punjab mall alongside the Mohali-Kharar road.
The factory was being run by Ashok Kumar, a resident of Mauli Jagran, Chandigarh, who has been arrested by the Mohali police after the registration of a case under Sections 272, 273 and 420 of the IPC against him at the Balongi police station here.
The factory, which was being run without a name and the required licence, has also been sealed by the district health authorities here.
The spurious milk products were being prepared in unhygienic conditions. The cheese and the other milk products were found lying in refrigerators and drums. More than 10 refrigerators, a boiler and other equipment used to prepare the products were found at the factory.
Ashok Kumar said the milk products were being supplied in Kharar, Mohali, Panchkula and the Kharar area. “Several dealers of these areas were my clients,” said Ashok Kumar, claiming that he was not preparing synthetic milk.
“I used to prepare cheese from milk, which came in a van daily,” said Ashok Kumar while talking to Chandigarh Tribune. Asked where he had stored the milk on Tuesday, the accused claimed that the van broke down midway and could not reach the factory.
The accused did not reply when asked why he had stored bags of substandard skimmed milk powder. However, he claimed that the chemical was used for coagulating the milk. The accused said he had been running the factory for the past year and a half. “I have seven employees,” said Ashok Kumar.
Inspector Manphul Singh, Station House Officer of the Balongi police station, said the raid started in the wee hours after getting a tip-off from members of the Progressive Dairy Farmers Association, Punjab.
“We were keeping vigil on illegal activities in the factory for the past couple of days. On Tuesday, we informed the police and the health authorities about the factory,” said Sukhdev Singh, president of the association.
The District Health Officer, Dr Rajbir Singh Kang, who was present at the spot at the time of the raid, said after the seizure of the spurious milk products, the factory had been sealed. “We have collected samples of all milk products and have sent these to a laboratory at Kharar for testing. After receiving the test reports, we will initiate legal action against the accused,” said Dr Kang.
The accused would be produced before the local court on Wednesday, said Inspector Manphul Singh.
Source Tribune India